Stena Line appeals the Commission’s decision to allow State aid for the Fehmarn tunnel project to the EU Court

Stena Line appeals the European Commission’s approval of public financing of the Fehmarn Belt fixed rail-road link between Denmark and Germany to the EU court. The company believes the decision is discriminatory and not in line with EU State aid rules. 

Stena Line is a provider of maritime transport links between mainland Europe and the Scandinavian Peninsula.

“Stena Line’s ferry routes to and from Scandinavia between 14 different ports serve the market with frequent, environmentally friendly and safe connections for freight and passengers. We welcome competition but it has to be fair and according to current legislation. This is not the case when it comes to the State aid granted for the construction of a fixed link over the Fehmarn Belt.  The Commission has approved State aid for the Fehmarn fixed link for more than 55 years, thereby allowing the fixed link to distort competition in a market with well-functioning ferry services which meet current demand. Ultimately this is also against the fundamental policy of shifting transport away from the road. All we are asking for is a level playing field,” says Carl-Johan Hagman, CEO Stena Line.

Stena Line’s appeal is based on a series of manifest errors in the Commission’s decision regarding issues such as the necessity of the aid, the duration of the aid and the undue distortion which the aid gives rise to, in particular by allowing the Fehmarn fixed link to dramatically reduce prices.  

 “We have no objections to the construction of the link as such but it has to be done in accordance with the well-founded rules for State Aid – this is not the case and we expect the Court to support us to annul the Commission’s decision. We all have to follow the law to assure a level playing field,” Hagman said.

Stena Line challenges the Decision before the Union courts in Luxembourg. 

For more information, please contact Claes Berglund, Director of Public Affairs, Stena AB +46 (0) 704 8 55104+46 (0) 704 8 55104. claes.berglund@stena.com

Stena Line is one of the world's largest ferry companies with 35 vessels and 22 routes in northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company, which is family owned, was founded in 1962 and has its head office in Gothenburg. Stena Line is part of the Stena Sphere, which has around 20,500 employees and an annual turnover of over 50 billion.

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Stena Line is one of Europe's leading ferry companies with 38 vessels and 21 routes in Northern Europe. Stena Line is an important part of the European logistics network and develops new intermodal freight solutions by combining transport by rail, road and sea. Stena Line also plays an important role for tourism in Europe with its extensive passenger operations. The company is family-owned, was founded in 1962 and is headquartered in Gothenburg. Stena Line is part of the Stena AB Group, which has about 15 000 employees and an annual turnover of around 36 billion SEK.

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